Let's face it, my first attempt at panna cotta was truly a failure. It was the wrong texture, the wrong taste... the elusive panna cotta was out of my grasp.
I do not deal with failure well, especially when it comes to cream and sugar. I needed to redeem myself and so I gave panna cotta another chance. Oh, I am glad I did.
This panna cotta has exactly what a classic Italian panna cotta should have: a creamy texture, light taste, and is incredibly simple to make. I call it a success. However, the blueberry lime sauce takes this panna cotta to a completely different level. The blueberry and lime flavors dance together in a very delicate and curious tango. This entire recipe takes less than twenty minutes to make, sauce and all. Now you have no excuse not to get cooking!
Blueberry Lime Panna Cotta
Adapted from David Lebovitz
Yields 8 servings
4 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half if you want to cut calories)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 packets (4 1/2 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
6 tablespoons cold water
Lightly grease 8 ramekins or cups with oil.
In a large saucepan, heat cream and sugar until sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
In a small bowl, combine powdered gelatin and cold water. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, after the gelatin has set, stir into the cream and sugar mixture. Stir until the gelatin completely dissolves into the cream.
Pour the panna cotta into the ramekins. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 to 4 hours, or until panna cotta has completely set.
To serve, run a sharp knife around the edge of each panna cotta and invert onto a serving plate.
Blueberry Lime Sauce
2 cups (1 pint) blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
To begin, zest each lime. Make sure the zest is a fine zest. You may the slice the zest into smaller pieces with a knife if this is not the case. Take one of the zested limes and juice it. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, combine the blueberries, lime zest, the juice of one lime, and the sugar. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes to allow the blueberries to soften and release their juices. Stir occasionally. When cooked, add the cornstarch to the sauce to thicken.
Refrigerate the sauce to keep delicious.
If you happen to find yourself with extra sauce, it can easily be added to top ice cream and sorbets. Or, if you love margaritas like I do, you can take a few spoonfuls and blend it in for a unique blueberry lime flavor!